We love to see new ideas and experiments in film, so when we saw Alastair Place, AKA @alecpain, testing out long exposures and night shots with the LomoChrome Turquoise 120 film we just had to find out more about the stories and techniques behind these snaps.
Hello Alastair, please tell us a bit about yourself.
I hesitate to call myself this at times but I'm an artist. Someone who works with film (and sometimes digital) to create, what I would call art – with varying degrees of success. I love film because it makes me stop and think. I hate film because I can never finish the roll. I love film because it's such a joy to see a moment in time brought back to me several days or weeks (or sometimes months) later and to see what I have visualised come to life.
These Turquoise photos were taken in low light conditions, tell us about your setup and why you chose this for the LomoChrome Turquoise film.
These pictures were taken in London – at Piccadilly Circus, and in Bath. The second roll was taken on a work trip to Stuttgart. I loved the colors I'd seen on LomoChrome Turquoise daylight pictures and hadn't seen too many shot at night time. I love shooting at night and the winter months do give you more opportunity to go out and still be home at a reasonable time. The mild weather also helps when you have to stand around composing your shot, setting up your tripod and then working out an exposure time. I actually guessed the timings for all of these shots based on how much light I thought was available.
The carousel pictures were the most fun but I also had to be patient – it started and stopped every two or three minutes as new people got on and took their ride. The picture of the colonnades in Bath and the carousel at the back of the shot was frustrating as there was a man on the phone for simply ages and just as the carousel started, he moved. I managed to capture someone moving in the picture however. Most of the exposures are around five seconds upwards. I used a twin-lensed Yashica Mat 124G camera, with a shutter release cable, and a tripod, and LomoChrome Turquoise 120 film. Visualising the scene was fairly easy looking through the top of the camera through the second lens.
How did you find the results from this film?
I love the results. LomoChrome Turquoise makes the pictures look other-worldly. The shadows that stalk this world are ghostly at night, and give a feel to the transitory nature of our existence. The photos were scanned by The Mini Lab in Northampton.
What kind of challenges come with low light shooting on film?
I guess there's always a worry about reciprocity failure and making sure you've exposed the film for long enough. I think it can happen but adding a few seconds won't ruin your shot and film has a great deal of latitude. Getting the picture perfectly straight can be tricky also, so spending a little time making sure that it's not wonky is always good practice but another thing to remember. Watch out for too much car light (see image of Smithfield Market.)
Any tips for other photographers wanting to try the same?
Go out and try it. It's not as hard as it looks. If you think you might underexpose, add a couple more seconds just in case. You just need patience, a tripod and a shutter release cable. You will build up experience and you won't waste as much film as you think.
What's coming up in 2023 for you?
Last year was fantastic in terms of me finally working out what I like to photograph and create. I'm still going to keep experimenting with film and just enjoying myself – whether that's with Holgaramas, self-portraits, street photography or pinhole. My favourite camera is the Holga – and I was crowned Holga Week 2022 Champion last year. I can't wait to use it with LomoChrome Turquoise – with multiple exposures and holgaramas – but perhaps also at night!
To see more of Alec's photos visit his Instagram page.